The Cloud in 2018 – how have things changed?


We caught up with our Infrastructure Director, James Bedford on the journey of the Cloud so far

How did cloud computing first emerge? What uncertainty did it bring? Was it technical in the beginning?

“A decade ago, the cloud was about delivering a managed service from the internet and demonstrating to customers the benefits of doing so. Many businesses doubted the reliability of the cloud and storing their data online, but not for the same reasons as today.”

“When cloud computing emerged, many businesses were concerned with running their operations using the internet due to poor or slow connection speeds. Today, businesses are more concerned about cybersecurity.”

“Most businesses are already using the cloud for part of their IT infrastructure without realising, whether it’s to host their e-mail servers or their financial information. With the right supplier and security measures in place, cloud computing can help businesses to fully integrate their systems, so they can better protect and back-up their data.”

How has cloud changed over the years?

“Companies like Microsoft have significantly influenced the market share for cloud computing. By commoditising the cloud with services such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and SharePoint, the pricing of cloud applicationshas become more aggressive.”

“Older vendors of cloud services have matured their solutions so that they offer more and can deliver a ‘one-stop’ solution. This is known as a hybrid approach and means that businesses can integrate all of their operations by combining several cloud-based applications into a single-tenanted solution. This allows businesses to fulfil the requirements of each department, while also syncing everything to the same server.”

How did things get out of control when hype took over? Did businesses buy too much Software as a Service and cloud?

“Hype hasn’t had a profound impact on business adoption of cloud. Interestingly, the two biggest factors that have driven cloud computing have been the recession and commoditisation.”

“Around the time of the 2009 recession, the commercial model of the cloud launched and meant that businesses could turn to a monthly subscription instead of outlaying costly licensing fees. This proved to be a perfect alternative for companies that had become financially unsettled.”

“Since the recession, cloud became more of a business commodity. In the SME market space, there is a lack of education about cloud computing and the existence of hybrid solutions. Commoditised solutions are not valuable for a business’s long-term goals but, without engagement from vendors, a lot of businesses are misled.”

“The software as a service model is ideal for businesses of any size because of its flexibility. While this is a benefit of the cloud, many businesses are now basing their move to the cloud around this feature and feel no responsibility for the changes.“

Now that it is better understood, is cloud now thought of as a business tool? How are IT and line of business managers working together to make cloud workable and economical?

“Many business managers want to know how investing in the cloud will add value to their company over the next three to five years. Ensuring that it fits into their business model, most businesses choose the cloud because you can scale up and down your service depending on what your business needs at the time.”

“Cloud computing allows customers to amend any of its applications to fit the business’ needs. This helps business managers work alongside IT departments to overcome the fear of investing in software that may not be able to accommodate their financial position in a year’s time.”

How will the cloud develop in 2018? How will cloud develop in the next 5-10 years?

“In 2018, we can expect to see more businesses pushing their ERP and CRM systems into the private cloud. This will likely involve customers going direct to cloud computing providers, which will dilute the distributer and reseller model for large businesses.”

“Beyond next year, businesses will come to understand that their company’s eco-system is about more than one specific application and realise they need a bespoke solution. SMEs will see the value of selecting a vendor that specialises in software for their industry or has an interest in better understanding what their business does.”


CPiO offers a range of cloud services to meet every budget and every complexity, from hosting a single application such as your Sage ERP software through to a Fully Hosted Managed Service (FHMS) model. To find out more, visit our CPiO Cloud Services page or contact us at [email protected]